Planning your Disney and trying to decide when to go? Let’s take a look at our exclusive Disney World Crowd Calendar to find the perfect time!
One of the biggest questions people have when planning their trip to Disney World is one of the most basic ones: when should you go?
Our dad, Dave, has spent hours and hours researching this exact topic since it has huge implications on how magical your visit is! Because of that, we’re sharing our Disney World Crowd Calendar.
What is a Disney World Crowd Calendar? Good questions. It is our best guess at when to go to Disney.
Obviously we don’t know the future and can’t fully predict how busy Disney World will get, but based on patterns, weather, activities and personal experience, our crowd calendar will help guide you in knowing when the best times to go are.
What you Need to Know About The Disney Calendar
In summary, here is what you need to know if you are looking for low crowds at Disney:
- Avoid holiday weekends, including and especially 3 day weekends.
- Be aware of the dance and cheer competitions. These bring huge crowds. These often happen on weekends so if you are going throughout the week this may not impact you as much.
- Disney hosts a number of running events throughout the year. Be aware of these as these often bring in high numbers of people.
- Summer is busy but it is not as busy as it used to be. This is great news if you don’t want to take kids out of school or are wanting to spend significant time at the pool or Typhoon Lagoon.
- Dips in attendance at Disney World happen regularly in between holidays and other events. We recommend looking at those times first! If you have pre-school age children or are bringing all adults be sure to check out September!
These 5 tips will help you plan your Disney Vacation far out in advance. For example, you can look at 2021 or 2022 and know that you should avoid any 3 day holiday weekend regardless of what exact dates they are! (Be sure to check back regularly as we are currently working on our 2021 Disney Crowd Calendar).
Other Questions to Ask
When you decide to go to Disney World rests on a lot of personal factors for you and your family as well. Some questions you need to ask yourself are:
- How important to me is the crowd factor during my visit?
- Am I ok with my children missing some school?
- What kind of weather do I want to have?
- Do I want to spend a chunk of my time at the pools and Typhoon Lagoon?
- Do I want to visit during special times, like the food and wine festival or flower festival at Epcot?
Month By Month – When to Avoid Disney And When To GO
Understanding the flow of the crowds at Disney World is vital to having the right mindset when going on vacation. It is helpful to know what to expect as far as crowds.
While the exact dates of high attendance and low attendance changes year by year, there are certain times of the year and certain events happening at Disney that we suggest avoiding.
Below you will find a month by month run down of the 2020 Disney World Crowd Calendar. You will find the attendance predictions for the year as well as both general and specific events happening each month.
Obviously the exact attendance at Disney World cannot be foretold (if only Yoda could help us…) but this should give you a general idea of what to expect.
It may be helpful for you to also google specific events happening to give you assistance as to which particular park you may want to avoid. For example, if a cheer event is happening in the Magic Kingdom, spend that day at Epcot instead!
2020 Disney World Crowd Calendar
Weather: Average Daily temperature is 60°, 6 days with precipitation this month.
Early January – Walt Disney World Marathon weekend is happening and schools are still on break which makes this a busy time in Disney World.
Martin Luther King weekend brings a 3 day federal holiday weekend and college Cheerleading and Dance competitions. While this weekend isn’t one of the busiest, it is wise to be aware that crowds are higher than what you may expect.
End of January – National Dance Team competition and Pro Bowl weekend happening at ESPN Wide World of Sports.
I like this time to go to Disney! It can be a bit chilly but typically nice with lower crowd levels.
Weather: Average Daily temperature is 61°, 7 days with precipitation this month
February 3-6 is the best time to visit this month
Early February – National Dance Team competition. This is a nation wide dance team competition which brings higher attendance.
Early February – National High School Cheerleading competition. This is a very prestigious, televised competition (ESPN). In 2020, this competition brought in 20,000 athletes.
Presidents Day Weekend – Holiday weekend and Twirl Mania competition, this is followed up by the Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. The half marathon event also includes a 5k, 10k, and the Disney Fairy Tale Challenge.
End of February – Mardis Gras and Contest of Champions is happening. The Contest of Champions is an open dance and drill competition that takes place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World.
I would go February 3rd-6th! Its clear sailing!
Weather: Average Daily temperature is 67°, 8 days with precipitation this month
The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival starts March 4th and runs until June 1. You will see beautiful topiary displays of Disney Characters throughout Epcot. This is truly a beautiful festival! During this time there is also a concert series that includes artists ranging from Sister Hazel and the Plain White T’s to the Pointer Sisters and Blood Sweat and Tears!
Overall this month is hit or miss with rolling spring breaks throughout the country and a wide variety of Dance and Cheer competitions happening throughout the parks.
This year, the Walt Disney World Resort will be closed from Sunday, March 15 at the end of the business day through the end of March. This is due to an abundance of caution from the global pandemic of COVID-19 (commonly known as the coronavirus). You can find more information here.
If you go to Disney World in March, go early! As the month goes along, the crowds increase with spring break.
Weather: Average Daily temperature is 71°, 6 days with precipitation this month.
Week before Easter and Easter weekend – generally a very busy time as many people are off of school.
April 16-19 – Star Wars Rival Run Weekend. A Star Wars themed running weekend which includes a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and the Star Wars Rival Run challenge.
April 26 – May 1 – sneaky time to go! Low crowds and great temperatures make this a great time to go if you can swing it.
Weather: Average Daily temperature is 77°, 8 days with precipitation this month
Early and mid May – Summit cheer competition. About 1,000 cheer teams compete at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The Dance Summit is happening May 2-3 and D2 Summit is May 8-10.
During the week May is a great time to visit.
Memorial Day – Holiday weekend and the beginning of summer break in some parts of the country. Memorial Day is not only the unofficial start to summer in the general USA, it is also the summer kick off in Disney World! The parks start to stay open later beginning Memorial Day (usually staying open until 10:00 rather than 9:00).
If you can tolerate all of the cheerleader’s pom poms on the weekends (haha! one of Dave’s daughters was a competitive cheerleader!), May isn’t a bad time to go to Disney!
Weather: Average Daily temperature is 81°, 14 days with precipitation this month
June is generally very busy, but summer is not as busy as it has been in past years. You will want to be aware that June is hot, humid, and rainy!
I used to stay clear of the summer months but times are changing! The crowds are actually better than in the past.
Weather: Average Daily temperature is 82°, 17 days with precipitation this month
4th of July brings heavy crowds at the Magic Kingdom. Disney is known for its incredible fireworks display and it draws very busy crowds. Both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot have special 4th of July celebrations. Disney Springs has special 4th of July decor and the Animal Kingdom usually has special food and beverages to celebrate America’s Independence Day.
The rest of July is very busy but not as busy as summers have been in the past. If you can brave the heat and humidity (average is 74% humidity in Orlando in July) this is a good time to go!
Weather: Average Daily temperature is 83°, 16 days with precipitation this month
Middle of August – crowds start to decrease as school starts to begin in some parts of the country. The temperatures are also beginning to cool as we approach fall. Do be aware that tropical storms and hurricanes often form from mid-August to late October.
End of August through October – The Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Avoid Epcot during the weekends as it is a favorite place for the locals to visit.
August 24-31 – if your kids are not in school yet, GO! This is a prime week to visit.
Weather: Average Daily temperature is 81°, 14 days with precipitation this month
Labor Day – A holiday weekend with heavy crowds. One thing to note, Labor Day itself is one of the least busy holiday Mondays as visitors will often head home the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.
The rest of September is a great time to visit Disney World as schools are in session throughout the country. This would be especially great if you have toddlers who are not currently in school! There is so much to do for families with young kids in Disney – check it out!
Weather: Average Daily temperature is 75°, 9 days with precipitation this month
October 1-9 – great time to go.
October 10-13 – We say, avoid!! Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day federal holiday weekend. People are off of work and kids are off of school which brings heavy crowds.
End of October – Fall breaks for school throughout the country makes crowds a bit heavier.
Weather: Average Daily temperature is 68°, 6 days with precipitation this month
November 1-6 Great week to go!
November 6-8: Wine and Dine Half Marathon will bring a bit heavier crowds. This runDisney event is taking on a fun twist this year by highlighting Disney villains!
November 9 Veterans Day (observed) – Federal holiday which brings heavy crowds
November 21-30 Thanksgiving Holiday week, heavy crowds, Stay clear! Generally speaking Saturday-Wednesday are less busy than Thursday-Sunday of this week. In case it matters to you, Christmas decorations at Disney World WILL be up! If you can’t stand to see any Christmas decor before Thanksgiving don’t go to Disney around Thanksgiving.
Weather: Average Daily temperature is 62°, 6 days with precipitation this month
Second half – Christmas holiday crowds. The Christmas crowds are a real thing. Disney is known to have the highest attendance of visitors between Christmas and New Years Day. Not only are the crowds high, but general costs of everything is higher this time of year. If you are trying to stay on a budget this is not the time to visit Walt Disney World.
If I were to pick 3 of my favorite weeks to go from our Disney World Crowd Calendar, it would be the last week of August, last week of April and the first week of December. In December the Christmas decorations are up but the Christmas crowds haven’t started yet.
I also like September because school is in session throughout the country which makes crowds lower, and the competitions that are so wide spread from January through April haven’t started yet.
One other tidbit…Whenever you go, if you can limit weekends as much as possible, you will be better off! Our official 2021 Disney Crowd Calendar is not available yet, but you can use the information here as template if you are beginning to plan your 2021 Disney Vacation!
Now that you know when to go, let’s talk about whether you should stay onsite at Disney World or offsite!
We hope you found our Disney World Crowd Calendar to be helpful! Be sure to share it with your friends and family who are planning their own trip!